Italy, the eurozone’s third-largest economy, forecasts double-digit growth in the value of renewables industry components exported to the UAE over the next five to ten years, spurred by the UAE’s quest to attain net-zero objectives.
The second-largest economy in the Arab world is leading the renewable energy agenda and spending extensively in expanding the share of green energy in its power mix. That momentum is opening up new opportunities for Italian businesses, according to Amedeo Scarpa, Italy’s trade commissioner for the UAE, Oman, and Pakistan, in an interview with The National.
“This is a trend that will continue for the next five to ten years,” Mr Scarpa said.
“If we examine the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050 and the desire to enhance the share of clean energy, I believe the margins of expansion are there… It will merely be the beginning of a rising trend.”
Italian firms exported €75 million ($85.7 million) in the first six months of 2021, an 11% year-on-year gain from 2020 and a 4% increase over the first half of 2019.
Mr Scarpa anticipates that the full-year export value of Italian renewable energy exports would be between €120m and €130m in 2021.
The renewable energy business is “very inflexible,” and the epidemic has had little impact on it. With the world emerging from the pandemic-induced lull, the industry is anticipated to expand even more, he noted.
In October, the UAE unveiled an ambitious strategic strategy to attain carbon neutrality by 2050, with plans to invest Dh600 billion ($160 billion) over the following three decades on clean and renewable energy sources.
The country has long been devoted to environmental protection and the use of sustainable energy. It started funding sustainable energy projects more than 15 years ago and has already spent more than $40 billion in the area.
The UAE unveiled the Energy Strategy 2050 in 2017, with the goal of increasing renewable energy’s contribution to the entire energy mix from 25% to 50% by 2050. By the middle of the century, the government intends to lower its carbon footprint from electricity generation by 70% and to raise the consumption efficiency of individuals and corporations by 40%.
The UAE is home to some of the world’s largest renewable energy projects, such as Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest single-site solar photovoltaic plant, and Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park. The country also has the world’s cheapest solar electricity.
“The data is there, and there are opportunities,” Scarpa said.
Italy is now the fourth-largest supplier of renewables industry components to the UAE.
The Italian renewables business has a yearly revenue of €23 billion, employing over 400 specialized firms and directly or indirectly employing over 60,000 people. According to Mr Scarpa, it is Europe’s second-largest manufacturer of green energy sector components and the world’s sixth largest exporter.
In 2020, Italian firms alone registered 1,880 green technology trademarks with the European Patents Office. He stated that 55% of these patents are related to solar energy and 16% to wind energy technologies.
“Italy’s sector is exceptional in that 40% of these trademarks have been registered by [Italian] small and medium firms,” Scarpa added.
Magaldi Green Energy, Enel Green Power, and Italian oil and gas firm ENI, which is expanding into renewables and green hydrogen, are among the Italian companies highlighted at the World Future Energy Summit, which is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The Italian pavilion at the show features 16 firms, while the event will include 21 green energy companies in total, according to Mr Scarpa.
“We are at a critical juncture, especially after Cop26, when all nations pushed and committed to identifying objectives for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.” “After that politically significant event, WFES is arguably the most important trade show,” Mr Scarpa remarked.
“This is the right place and the right occasion to show the latest Italian technologies in order to achieve ambitious [net-zero] targets.”